I recently found myself wondering if the 18×7.5-inch Nogaro could become rare in the United States. They seem to be common in the U.K. However, they were available only on the 2017 GTI Sport in the U.S. See this post for details. I had thought about buying a second Nogaro set just in case one of my wheels gets damaged. Being a wheel whore, I even considered a second set just to maintain the same look between winter and summer tire sets. Nogaro sets still sell for a pretty penny, with some sets going for $600-$700. So I was in no hurry to make a purchase. I had hoped to see a good deal on a set nearby someday. Then I got lucky and found a set at a great price.
I found a Nogaro set “For Sale” post in Facebook early one morning. The seller had listed it at $425, an unbelievable price for nearly new wheels. He included photos which showed that they were in excellent condition. His ad had been bombarded with other users telling him what a fool he was for listing them so low. I decided to send him a private message, offering him his asking price, and said I could drive up (260 miles) to retrieve them that weekend (four days later). Amazingly, he was online at 5am and replied immediately. When he said, “If they’re still here, they’re yours,” I asked if I could pay immediately for him to hold them for a few days. That was all it took for him to remove his ad and save the wheels for me.
He had to have had some interested buyers. When we met, I asked him what compelled him to choose me so quickly from among the other prospects. Apparently, not only was his For Sale ad filled with derogatory comments, he had an inbox full of them, too. And, as if $425 for these wheels wasn’t already a great enough deal, he had a bunch of messages with low-ball offers. Ridiculous! But the most interesting message said something like “Hey, you’re an idiot for asking only $425. I’ll give you $500 in three weeks.” Here’s the deal: He was selling a house and moving into a new home. He had them listed to sell quickly and wanted them gone quickly without any hassles. I guess I was the one who made the sale the easiest and quickest for him. It pays to be an agreeable buyer!
At first, I thought I would just put the new Nogaros in storage and perhaps mount some all-season tires for use during the winter months. Then I decided to have them powder coated in gun-metal gray at VA Finishing, LLC. While the wheels were bare (without tires), I hung one from a scale and measured 23.76 lbs with the valve stem and centercap. Then I stored them until after pollen season and what seemed like an eternity of rain. Afterwards, I treated the wheels with ceramic coating before wrapping them in a set of Firestone Firehawk Indy 500s. That choice of tire is a little unimaginative since I already have a set of Indy 500s on my original Nogaros. I’ll keep the originals for car shows until I decide I’m ready to switch to a different tire.
I like the new look! The wheels are no longer quite as flashy as when they had polished spokes, but they still look sharp and distinct enough to make the car unique without going too far. Some say factory wheels are too heavy. But I’m inclined to believe that they’re also strong, which is a good thing when our roads are not silky-smooth. I’ve also read articles comparing heavy and lighter wheels which show that the difference in lap times is very small. As a street-driven car, I’m not too concerned about whether my choice of wheel might save a few seconds off a four-mile road course where the car is being driven at full blast. Instead, I recognize that a few pounds per corner is having a relatively inconsequential effect on my daily drive. 🙂
I have not decided whether I will have my original Nogaros refinished the same as these. A part of me wants to keep them with the factory finish for car shows, but another part of me wants to match them so that I can switch between summer and all-season tires without changing the look of the car. Yeah, I’m sort of OCD like that. HAHA! I still have plenty of life remaining in the Indy 500’s that are on the originals. So there’s time for me to decide. Maybe next year. See more photos in the album below. See my related YouTube video here.
Gone to the Dark Side,